Category Archives: altar cloths

The Winter Solstice Ritual

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Merry meet all,

Last night I attended the best pagan Winter Solstice ritual ever. I had the best time.  I am here to tell you all about it. 

Over 60 people attended the ritual. I was asked to call a quarter and to participate in the ritual. I was also asked to lend my green cape to a man. He acted out the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King with another man as part of the ritual. The battle they acted out was awesome. I had to help the guy I lent the cape to with his cloak during the ritual. 

A picture of the cloak here: (Those are actual oak leaf patterns!!) Lined Green cape

I was happy to be asked to be part of the ritual. I was nervous but we all rehearsed the ritual or rather, those participating in the ritual asked a million questions. We put a dark cloth and rope up and made a tunnel so we began the ritual in darkness. Everyone got a candle to represent the light. Of course, my hands and some other people ended up getting candle wax all over their hands. We were led into a heart meditation which began with a drumbeat or two beat near everyone’s heart chakra. The drumming was infectious and done by very talented drummers. I had to wear a green cape secured by a pin clasp. People tripped on it so I ended up carrying the train in my hand as I juggled  a lit candle, a rune, a stone, my glasses, and my script- ungracefully. I enjoyed the drumming. 

The altar was beautiful. A purple star altar cloth covered the altar. The one leading the ritual along with Loka contributed a cool athame/ sword for the ritual. He made the stones- mine said joy, and asked if we had anything to be grateful for. I thought the kids made the best statements of what they were grateful for. After that, we closed the circle. I called the west quarter and held the blue candle then extinguished it. I am glad I acted so calm and collected during the ritual. I felt the magick.  

We sang songs and left the room. The kids’ activities followed after that. We all participated in a feast. The feast was a true feast. The one who helped with the ritual also made a lot of the decadent food with his 80-year old grandmother’s help. Wow. Oh the food. My meals at home which are pitiful and pathetic, pale in comparison. 

I brought half a homemade gingerbread loaf and homemade cookies. I don’t know who ate them but I hope someone enjoyed food. I enjoyed the decadent chocolate Yule log. The food was amazing- and not only because I starved. 

It was great to see familiar faces and meet new people. But like all good times, I eventually climbed on my broomstick and flew home. I got a gift from the gifting table which was a wooden pentagram and hangs now above my bedroom door. I also got a candy cane. I have memories to cherish for years. 

Today, I suffered from ritual hangover this morning. I baked cookies and made some cool green goopy icing. I can only hope to be half as accomplished as the people who made that beautiful food for the feast. I admire those who washed 100s of dishes after the feast, too. It was an amazing night. 

I had no green and red outfit so I wore my black cloak, white dress, beaded blouse, my gold crown, my silver leaf earrings and a smile – well, some of the time. I fought exhaustion, as did the organizers of the event. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch 

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Winter Solstice Altars

A Picture of my Yule altar

A Picture of my Yule altar

Merry meet all,

The chill in the air alerts us to winter’s arrival. Here are some suggestions on how to decorate your altar for Winter Solstice. 

Use reds, whites and greens on your altar. Evergreen boughs lend a fresh woodsy feel to your altar. Add candles in silver and gold colours. I bought a beautiful meter of fabric that is reversible. The cloth has silvery snowflakes on one side and gold snowflakes on the other. Sometimes, fabric is not very expensive. It’s nice to get material that reflects the season or Sabbat. 

Yule reflects the return of the Sun. Add solar symbols to your altar. Gold discs, gold or yellow candles, can reflect the Sun. Inscribe a candle with solar symbols and dedicate it as your solar candle. Sprinkle gold or silver on the candle. Use holly and ivy, and pinecones on the altar. Antlers would be appropriate too. Candy canes, bells, sun wheels or mistletoe reflect the season too. 

With all of these suggestions, your altar will be beautiful!

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under altar cloth, altar cloths, altars, Yule, Yule crafts

Witchcraft on the Cheap

Merry Meet All,

Today the snow remains, a bitter sign that winter is not over. My flowers are buried under several inches of snow. Actually, maybe the snow is my imagination and if I wish hard enough, it might go away. Righhht.

This post will be about how to save money as a witch. So sip a cup of tea and sit tight for a cool post. Did you read those magic words correctly- save money? Yes, you did. I have lots of suggestions that should help your wallet rather than empty it and I am sharing them here.

ALTAR CLOTHS

I make my own. Rarely have I bought an altar cloth. I embroider, trim with lace, sew, add beads, or whatever strikes my fancy. You can too. There is and should not be any limit to your imagination. I store them in a beautiful deep brown large wooden basket. I have altar cloths in every colour of the rainbow, or chakra. I keep an eye out at the local fabric store for bargains on material and have beautiful altar cloths suitable for Samhain, Mabon, or Imbolc. I found cool reversible silver and gold material I use only for Yule. All you need is a half to a full meter of fabric and some sewing experience and presto!- an altar cloth.

TOOLS

I sometimes buy them but amazingly, the most witchy stuff I have found has not been from a local metaphysical shop, but from other nonpagan stores. The witch figurines, artificial birds’ nests- which are great for Imbolc and Ostara, btw, and my candleholders and incense burners I bought from local drugstores. So keep your eyes open and you never know where you will find a bargain. I turned the birds’ nest over and honestly, it had three legs like a cauldron. There are also three bird eggs in it. You bet your broomsticks I bought it.

CANDLES

Candles can be found anywhere in varying shapes, sizes, and colours. I go to Little Mysteries http://www.littlemysteries.com/ and their prices are fair. But I also live in an area with three or four other metaphysical shops. So buying candles is not hard. But you can make them too. Although I should leave that to truly accomplished witches. Or it could be I need practice. Save the wax from old candles and your candleholders. Buy candle making supplies and store them so when you want to make a truly magical candle for a spell, everything is there when you need it. I keep old wax, no matter how much or how little, in a plastic ziploc bag.

One thing about tools. Here is a tip on how to clean cast iron. Use coarse salt and a soft sponge. Rinse away the salt and wipe dry. Clean stainless steel white vinegar and a soft cloth. To clean copper (your cauldrons, hint, hint), use lemon and coarse salt. Sprinkle the outside of a sliced lemon half with the salt, rub it over the copper, which will soon gleam. Use mineral oil on wooden cutting boards. You can get more money’s worth by taking care of your tools. I cleaned my candleholders in the sink with soapy dish water and they looked beautiful. Old candle wax is stale energy and your candles will harbour the stale energy. Clean your candle holders. This holds for censers, cauldrons, and even altar cloths. I hand wash mine because of beads, lace trim or embroidery. I buy books of celtic embroidery patterns. Once I cut a pattern out, I put an empty envelope out in the book, staple the envelope to the book, then store my patterns in the envelope. I can reuse them and the patterns are stored neatly in one place.

If you have decorative bottles, use them for dish soap and throw the plastic ones away. I am trying so hard to have no plastic in my home. It is an ongoing battle. Using attractive jars and bottles for holding our magical supplies makes cleaning or storing herbs and gemstones far less of a chore. When you are scrimping money, that can be a huge asset. Keep an eye out at farmers markets where you may find a beautiful earthenware bowl for scrying. You just never know when or where you can find a treasure. It will jump out at you.

I also cover my laptop with a beautiful purple cloth that has a black design on it. I found it at a local ethnic boutique called the Black Market. It cost next to nothing. I hide my laptop with the purple cloth or shawl from would be thieves.

So I hope this inspires you to try something new. May the Goddess guide you on your magical path.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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